Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Letters of a Woman Homesteader” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Letters of a Woman Hom...
 
by
Elinore Pruitt Stewart
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Letters of a Woman Homesteader

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,876 Ratings  ·  570 Reviews
This classic account of American frontier living captures the rambunctious spirit of a pioneer who set out in 1909 to prove that a woman could ranch. Stewart's captivating missives from her homestead in Wyoming bring to full life the beauty, isolation, and joys of working the prairie.
Published (first published May 1st 1914)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Magrat Ajostiernos
https://cronicasdemagrat.com/2016/06/...

Elinore Pruitt Stuart me deja admirada y maravillada tras leer estas cartas llenas de encanto, humor y un amor por la naturaleza y el prójimo altamente contagioso.
¡A mi wishlist ya 'Cartas de una cazadora'! :D
Carla Baku
Jan 03, 2008 Carla Baku rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants some inspiration
This is one of my favorite books of all time, and I have probably read it at least a dozen times. This is the story of a person who followed her heart and worked incredibly hard; the end result is that she built a life she loved. Set in Wyoming at the start of the 20th century, Stewart (a widowed single mother)left the drudgery of taking in wash to work on a cattle ranch and prove up her own piece of land for homesteading.

She writes with wonderful droll humor and remarkable insight to the human
...more
Chrissie
Sep 04, 2012 Chrissie marked it as own-unread  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio, history, usa, kindle
Right now the Kindle version if free at Amazon.
Lise Petrauskas
Sep 21, 2013 Lise Petrauskas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, homestead
I have fallen in love with Elinore Pruitt Stuart. For one thing, she's witty and kind. For another, I love her philosophy of scaring off troubles with a belly laugh. She's a keen observer of people and loves and can describe natural beauty. She is independent, curious, loyal, likes to eat, is kind to children and animals, is not afraid of hard work, is open-minded, and is honest enough to laugh at herself when she is wrong. She seems to have made friends easily, which is natural probably for som ...more
Artemis
Jan 29, 2009 Artemis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of course I rate this book a five because my great grandmother wrote it and I can relate to it because of my grandmother's stories about growing up. However, if I was not related, I would still love this book because it is very similar in style to Jack London's prose. It has historical and sentimental value.
Matt
Sep 14, 2010 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women homesteaders
These letters make for a fascinating narrative and descriptive journal of Mrs. Stewart's life, moving from the city to a Wyoming homestead, marrying and still having the determination to homestead ON HER OWN. She is a very positive, optimistic individual, generous and giving, nearly always seeing the positive in others. Her words and attitude are inspirational.

Whether tidbits are fabricated or exaggerated is a bit of topic of debate. However, the general storylines, characters, and situations ar
...more
Donna
4.5 stars if it were possible.

I enjoyed the voice of the MC in this autobiography via letters. She was a single parent and a homesteader. It was 'mighty powerful' to use a term that she used a lot. Her voice felt so authentic. I love reading about the pioneer spirit and she had a double helping. I loved her descriptions of the people and the places.

This book was a quick read and it was fun.
Rosana
Letters of a Woman Homesteader hits close to my heart. My husband and I farm the land that his grand-parents first homestead in the 1910’s. I was not born here but I immigrated from Brazil close to 25 years ago. It was, and in some ways still is, a very hard adaptation to rural life and Canadian winters. I often think of those women pioneers that braved this land without the amenities I have: indoor plumbing, electricity, cars, phones, internet. Their stories and bravery is still part of the loc ...more
Alyson
Oct 08, 2014 Alyson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, bookclub
I had all but the last two chapters of this book read in July. I have several books (five, I believe) in the same state that I just need to wrap up. Since I had already listened to the audio version of this book last year, I felt prepared for book club, even without the last part. I enjoyed my second read of this book as much as the first time. It is really a very delightful book. This book is a compilation of letters written by a woman who homesteads in Wyoming. The stories she tells are deligh ...more
Becki
Jan 13, 2009 Becki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably one of my most favorite things to read are the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Aside from getting all atwitter over exact instructions on how to make my own meat smokehouse, I love the parts of the books that focus on the gritty side of life - like having to deal with Nellie Oleson, or the very real possibility of being killed in a freak blizzard, or tornado season. What can I say, I like drama.

Letters of a Woman Homesteader reminds me of a more grown-up, dramatic, and shor
...more
Sue
Jan 02, 2012 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this series of letters written by a young widow on the Wyoming frontier, sent regularly from 1909 to 1913 to her friend back home in Denver. Since the letters were not originally intended for publication, they are very personal and chatty, and I felt when reading them as if I had stumbled onto a dusty pile of letters from a long-gone great-grandmother and was discovering a piece of forgotten family history for the first time. This is part of the charm of this book; i ...more
Thom Swennes
Mar 31, 2012 Thom Swennes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Positive delightful! Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart is a collection of highly readable, interesting, informative, moving and occasionally very humorous letters. She wrote epically long letters to everyone that showed the slightest interest in reading them. It is a shame that she settled on this as a medium of displaying her considerable talent. The letters were written to various recipients during the period 1909-1913 and covered many subjects. The letters were first pu ...more
Julie
Sep 22, 2010 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finished with my latest Kindle book, I wondered what I would read next. I wasn't ready to cough up another $10 for a regular book, but I was tired of reading samples. A regular book was out of the question - I was already in bed, and a two-handed read was just too much to consider. (Wah.) So I came upon this, Letters of a Woman Homesteader, for FREE on Kindle. My expectations were low. Free? A series of letters, written by a woman who never had ANY formal schooling, during the late 1800's to ear ...more
Jennie
Jul 04, 2013 Jennie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was quite taken by surprise when I started reading this book. What a little gem! This is typically not my first, second, third... you get the idea... choice in subject matter for books I read. What an adventure! What a life! What a community! Elinore's narrative, through her letters to a former employer, describes a desolate life in a bleak land that even sweet corn won't grow in. Alas, if you sit and wallow in all you don't have it will make your life that much harder. Elinore's powerful opti ...more
El Buscalibros | Tu web de recomendaciones literarias
Las cartas de Elinore Pruitt Stewart son uno de los ejemplos más hermosos de cómo el ser humano siempre puede más. Si no fueran reales, llegaríamos a pensar que no son verosímiles. Esa es la grandeza de este librito. LA RESEÑA SIGUE AQUÍ: http://www.elbuscalibros.com/2016/03/...
Rebecca Waring-Crane
Oh to have such a pen pal as Elinore Stewart! Her collected letters describe the wilds and hard work of pioneer life in Wyoming, seen through her optimistic and generous gaze, with such fresh and vibrant delight. I wish she were my friend.

These letters written for an audience of one exhibit a love of beauty and unconsciously winsome style that moved me to underline often. Elinore claims she is not educated, but her wisdom and love of writing fully compensate for any lack of formal schooling. Eli
...more
Patsy
Nov 21, 2015 Patsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on a true story in 1909, Elinore Pruitt lost her husband in a railroad accident. She decided to take her two year old daughter with her and move to Denver, Colorado and worked as a housekeeper for a while.

Mr. Stewart was homesteading in Wyoming, he needed someone to help out with the housekeeping and cooking for his crew and he was willing to pay her more money and help her homestead her property, she knew she could do this, she was a strong woman. She then moved to Wyoming to homestead.

H
...more
Jennifer Hughes
Jul 31, 2014 Jennifer Hughes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy books that give a perfect little snapshot of a moment in time. It's like looking at pictures in written form.

This was one such book, a collection of letters written by a Wyoming homesteader between 1909-13. Mrs. Stewart had a minimal education but is a natural writer. Each letter is a snippet, a little story, of a moment in history. The people and scenes she writes about are described so well that they came to life. For me that is the essence of a truly good book: I didn't want m
...more
Crysta
Jan 22, 2012 Crysta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-politics
A fiercely independent woman, setting off on her own to "homestead" a plot of land in Wyoming in 1909? Sign me up! Elinore was a young widow with a toddler when she decided she wanted her own land and space in a new territory - and she encouraged other women that they, too, could make it. Through her letters to her former employer/friend, she tells of snowstorms and beautiful vistas, and a motley crew of other settlers with their own fascinating back stories. Essentially, she reminded me of an o ...more
Judy
Apr 05, 2013 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a fascinating read on the lives of women from another time. Pioneering women, finding themselves in incredibly alien and inhospitable conditions who rise to the challenge of surviving and then move on to creating a productive and enjoyable life for not only themselves but those around them. They were so often driven by the need to provide a good life for a growing brood. I have read similar stories of women in Australia and New Zealand faced with huge challenges and creating wonderful lives ...more
Kate
Oct 14, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved it! I did this one on audiobook, and it was amazing. These are "genuine letters" to a friend by a woman who staked a claim to land in Wyoming around 1909. The letters are so good it's hard to imagine some industrious female farmer dashing them off after a long day of labor. But so she did, I guess. The letters are all addressed to one particular friend, a former boss in Chicago. The woman homesteader tells stories about her adventures and explorations, her new friends, and her ...more
Nenette
Jun 27, 2011 Nenette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a collection of actual letters written by Elinore Rupert Stewart during the 1900’s to her former employer (Mrs. Coney). She quit her job as laundrywoman of Mrs. Coney and set out to become a homesteader.

The letters, written in a very delightful manner speaks of Mrs. Stewart’s life experiences as a homesteader, as well as her encounters with different people in her home life and in her journeys. More importantly, the letters speak of women’s strength and independence, that anything
...more
Phyllis
This book is really strange! It's a collection of letters sturdy pioneer lady Elinore Pruitt Stewart wrote to a former employer, but as frequently as she seems to be corresponding with her old boss she almost never makes references to the letters she's receiving. What a strangely one-sided correspondence. Either these letters have been edited, they're fake, or Elinore Pruitt Stewart was the most self-absorbed homesteader in American history. I'm really interested in the provenance of the letters ...more
Michele
May 26, 2015 Michele rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Elinore is one spunky lady. She is a hard worker with a positive attitude and a love of being social. You couldn't help but be impressed with her as a mother, wife and friend. The lady she writes to is a bit of a snob and you feel like Elinore is trying to please her often and apologizing for her shortcomings. This gets a bit tedious at times but Elinore's sweetness comes shining through.
Okay, the guy who got his finger cut off? Wow! I would have liked to know more about him. Did he appreciate w
...more
Teri Momeyer
Jul 09, 2012 Teri Momeyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a series of actual letters spanning from 1909 to 1913 written by a woman, a single mother, who has settled in the Wyoming wilderness. She is writing to her former employer. She is constantly optimistic and cheerful, looking for the positive in everything. Although bad things happen, she plays them down and often omits them from her narratives. She is mostly fearless and doesn't worry much. She loves natural beauty, the mountains, and independence. She also loves to write, has great wit a ...more
Lori
Apr 24, 2016 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an absolutely astounding story of Elinore Pruitt and the life she led in 1909, that of a Homesteader in Wyoming. When many men with families would have hesitated to be a Homesteader, Elinore did it being a Widow with 2 small children. These letters that she wrote to friends are just amazing in detail and the thoughts that she had for the people around her and the times she was living in. Just an amazingly touching read.
Emma
Jan 27, 2009 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love true stories, and I especially love them to be told in the voice of people who actually participated in the action. This book is a compilation of letters that (I believe) begin in 1909 and span approximately six or seven years. The woman writing these letters, called Elinore, was a washlady in Denver, CO. She received some advice to become a housekeeper for a ranch owner in the remote Wyoming wilderness (called "homesteaders" back then). These letters are written to a friend of hers, and ...more
Gail
Jan 25, 2009 Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have an interest in how women lived in the 1800's and before. I am particularly interested in women who were pioneers or homesteaders at this time, carving out an existence with beauty and happiness in the wilderness of the west.

Elinore Pruitt Stewart homesteaded near Green River Wyoming, which is where my dad and his family are from. She was not a Mormon which was also a different twist on the pioneer/homesteader experience in this area at the time.

This is a true story put together from the
...more
Nicki
Dec 23, 2011 Nicki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2011

I wanted to read this to see if Pruitt's account of frontier life would provide a stark contrast to the idealistic tone of the Little House series. To my surprise, it really didn't. This little collection of letters reflected a woman who was no doubt candid and spunky, but also joyfully optimistic. She speaks of finding satisfaction in her work and speaks with humor and levity when she bumps into misfortune. It seems that in the midst of the dust and adversity of carving out a life in the early
...more
Pam Kennedy
Feb 09, 2014 Pam Kennedy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This enjoyable account of homesteading is told through the letters the author wrote to a friend. Her energy and enthusiasm reveal a life rich with adventure and humor where others might see loneliness and drudgery. How spoiled we are and how we take so much for granted! Her description of a campfire breakfast of "pork and beans heated in an old frying pan...served with coffee boiled in an old pail and drunk from a tomato can" makes a gourmet restaurant meal seem over rated. The courage and optim ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Bride Goes West
  • Covered Wagon Women: Diaries and Letters from the Western Trails, 1840-1849 (Covered Wagon Women, #1)
  • Pioneer Women: Voices from the Kansas Frontier
  • Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey
  • A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains
  • The American Frugal Housewife: Dedicated to Those Who Are Not Ashamed of Economy
  • Riding the White Horse Home: A Western Family Album
  • Pioneer Women: The Lives of Women on the Frontier
  • Beloved Bride Letters of Stonewall Jackson to His Wife
  • Theodore Roosevelt's Letters to His Children
  • Hearts West: True Stories of Mail-Order Brides on the Frontier
  • Elsie: Adventures of an Arizona Schoolteacher 1913-1916
  • Boots and Saddles: Or, Life in Dakota with General Custer
  • The Oregon Trail
  • We Pointed Them North: Recollections of a Cowpuncher
  • Women's Letters: America from the Revolutionary War to the Present
  • Chicken and Egg: A Memoir of Suburban Homesteading with 125 Recipes
  • Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl
4348
Elinore Pruitt Stewart (born Elinore Pruitt; June 3, 1876 – October 8, 1933) was a homesteader in Wyoming, and a memoirist who between 1909 and 1914 wrote letters describing her life there to a former employer in Denver, Colorado. Those letters, which reveal an adventurous, capable, and resourceful woman of lively intelligence, were published in two collections in 1914 and 1915. The first of those ...more
More about Elinore Pruitt Stewart...

Share This Book



“My brother Calvin is very sweet. God had to give him to us because he squealed so much he sturbed the angels. We are not angels so he dont sturb us.” 2 likes
“Fallen trees were everywhere and we had to avoid the branches, which was powerful hard to do. Besides, it was quite dusky among the trees long before night, but it was all so grand and awe-inspiring. Occasionally there was an opening through which we could see the snowy peaks, seemingly just beyond us, toward which we were headed.But when you get among such grandeur you get to feel how little you are and how foolish is human endeavor, except that which reunites us with the mighty force called god. I was plumb uncomfortable, because all my own efforts have always been just to make the best of everything and to take things as they come.” 1 likes
More quotes…